Cover image © Ruslana Stovner | Dreamstime Stock Photos www.dreamstime.com
Our November issue has a special focus on eBooks and journals.
Coming up in 2014
February: Focus on sight and sound
A recent FreePint webinar examined the topic of “Authoritative Analysis: Because 24/7 News is Too Risky“.
The speakers, Stephen Foley of the Financial Times and Cynthia Lesky of Threshold Information Services, offered two perspectives on work – from that of a business journalist and research analyst respectively. At first sight, perhaps, the two might not have too much in common but it soon became clear that they actually face similar challenges.
It’s also worth taking a look at my previous post on the Changes at Channel 4 to discover how the challenges of a broadcast news programme also dovetail into those faced by print (online) journalists and business researchers.
In her intro we heard from FreePint’s director of research, Robin Neidorf, that in this era of unprecedented news output with daily or twice daily ‘official’ news plus constant feeds and updates, it’s hard for journalists, researchers and the public to sort through the unrelenting volume of raw material and work out what’s relevant.
Stephen made the point that news used to be hard to get, now it’s hard to evaluate and it can be difficult to determine how factual or accurate news is. Repetition has become important and we should be wary of believing a ‘fact’ is true or authoritative just because it’s been repeated many times. Taking a pause to evaluate whether or not something’s likely to be true before (eg) retweeting is a valuable tip. (On this note, take a look at GigaOM’s post on Twitter and news errors.)
Journalism now is more about offering a layer of interpretation over data which is complex or could be misconstrued (eg legal matters) – also the data alone may not be enough, a base of trusted contacts to offer analysis of the data remains invaluable.
Cynthia also made the point that published data should also be taken with a pinch of salt and is no substitute for industry experience – she had the situation where a newspaper published the production capacity of a new factory only for her to realise thanks to previous experience in the sector that it was out by a factor of 100!
Stephen is on Twitter @stephenfoley
Cynthia is on Twitter @threshinfo
FreePint is on Twitter @freepint
Olivia Greenstreet’s ‘Favourite Tipples’ have been chosen for inclusion in FreePint’s newsletter this week.
Read all about her choices here:
Olivia is one of the web managers for CILIP’s Multimedia Information and Technology special interest group and in her spare time helps manage the blog, writes articles and updates the website for the committee.
Technology producer for Channel 4 news, Geoff White, provided a fascinating insight into how news stories make it onto air and the changing role of broadcast news organisations.
For example, on Monday morning a prospect list of eight stories were mooted for that evening’s news show. In fact just three of those stories ended up making it onto the programme. They were chosen for their original journalism, because Channel 4 had a unique angle on the story or because they had a reporter at the location able to provide specific insights.
In the same way that librarians and information professionals are increasingly required to multi-task, TV producers are too required to juggle a number of tasks. Geoff might find and substantiate stories, source ‘voices’, a filming location, commission graphics, direct the cameraman, edit the VT and sometimes even shoot the VT.
Competition from consumer mobile devices and the web is hotting up – in an era when people with an iPhone can not only shoot video but edit it and have it online in minutes, broadcast news needs to be able to offer something above and beyond. And it’s not only amateur journalists that are causing broadcasters to change their game, print specialists such as The Guardian are no longer confining themselves to the written medium, if there’s an opportunity to record unique VT to illustrate a print story then they’ll take it and add it to their website.
Whilst online mediums such as Google and Facebook are becoming the new gatekeepers of information, established brands such as BBC and Channel 4 news are currently winning the trust stakes. “Most people don’t want an infinity of information,” Geoff declared – “they’re looking for a trusted guide to give them the expertise and the context” of stories… just as library users are seeking trusted, experienced guides to help them navigate, learn and experience… and to give them something above and beyond what they can get for themselves from a search engine…
A note from the chair on ‘Cloud busting: demystifying ‘the Cloud’ and its impact on libraries’
With just under two weeks to go until our national ‘Cloudbusting’ conference it’s safe to say MmIT is getting quite excited. With such a rich programme and so many great speakers it looks set to be a truly great conference. We hope you are able to join us in Sheffield on April 5th as there are still a few places left.
The concept of ‘the Cloud’ has been around for several years. Over that time the term has become ubiquitous with a general acceptance that ‘the Cloud’ has a definite impact on the way in which we use computers and information technology and how individuals interact with information. It is widely regarded that cloud computing can simplify processes for organisations and save them money and as a result many of the benefits associated with the ‘Cloud’ have been around efficiencies and effectiveness of services.
Many services that libraries have traditionally offered have been migrated into cloud solutions. For example the use of OpenURL providers and federated and pre-indexed search engines allowing users to search all of a library’s collections through a single search box. Discovery layers such as Serials Solutions’ Summon, EBSCO’s EDS or Ex Libris’s Primo Central allow access to all of a library’s collections, not simply those found on the library catalogue. Such discovery layers can provide enhanced service such as access to special collections, digital collections and institutional repositories.
Similarly, the ‘Cloud’ allows libraries to share data about their collections and the bibliographic management activities that they are engaged in. This includes licensing data, common vendor files, serials publications patterns and MARC records.
Add to this entire systems hosted in the Cloud, such as the Koha and Ex Libris Alma library management systems, or reference and citation management systems such as Mendeley, then it is simple to see the impact that the Cloud has on libraries, and indeed vice versa.
Even simple initiatives such as collaborative working through Google Docs, enabling a library community through Facebook or storing photographic collections in Flickr are all examples of how the Cloud has become part of the day to day computing and technology activity of the library.
MmIT strives to raise awareness amongst library and information professionals about current trends and topics in library and information technology and ‘Cloud’ initiatives and innovations, and how they are currently being used within the sector will be of interest to many librarians and information professionals who may not even realise the wealth of ‘Cloud’ activities and solutions available to them. The conference includes a series of workshops, each one focusing on a particular ‘Cloud’ initiative. This includes topics such as implementing Opensource library management systems; How libraries can make the most of mobile devices to access cloud resources; Creating media-rich e-book resources; Implications for research data management; Copyright and licensing issues associated with the ‘Cloud’, and much more. The keynote presentation will be from Karen Blakeman and will focus on search and discovery within the ‘Cloud’ and the conference will also include a series of rapid fire technical innovation presentations and a panel question and answer session.
For further information please see the MmIT Events pages:
MmIT group members can now download the latest issue of our journal from the CILIP website. Log in with your usual CILIP website user name and password or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a reminder.
Institutional subscribers should visit: www.mmitjournal.org.uk
February 2013 issue includes:
A big thank-you to everyone who was involved in the MmIT conference at the University of Sheffield on the 17th of April 2012, both to those who attended and those who helped & presented. There has been some excellent coverage of the event, with a fine summary written by Olivia Greenstreet in Information Today Europe. Notable blog entries may also be found at student volunteer’s Lady Pen’s Treasure Trove, first-time conference attendee Sensible Shoes and (another) student volunteer’s Michelle’s Library Stuff. For those with a view to reading the Twitter activity associated with the conference, the Information Resources Group at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield provide an excellent set of links on their ScHARR entry.
Photographs taken by Sarah Cole Photography may be found on Flickr. A full overview of the day’s sessions can be found on the MmIT website; some slides are already collected for viewing elsewhere in this blog, and more details about others which will be accessible shall be available shortly.
Watch this blog for information about the MmIT 2013 conference, which the group are sure will be even more of a success than this year!
The slides and notes for this presentation – due to be given at the Reduced Budgets? Increased Impact! Increasing LIS Impact with New Technologies conference at the University of Sheffield today – are available here:
NB: this is the version presented on the day of the conference, which was amended slightly from earlier versions due to an error spotted in the original version. Please feel free to access this new version.
Here’s a promo video for Andy Tattersall and Claire Beecroft’s ScHARR Workshop: “A free web toolkit for the modern library”. In the workshop, Andy and Claire will introduce delegates to a variety of tried and tested web 2.0 tools which offer real value to LIS professionals.
This workshop is part of the MmIT National Conference 2012: Reduced budgets? Increased impact!
Tools and technologies for an effective library and information service being held on Tuesday 17th April 2012 at the University of Sheffield.
MMIT Group has one free pass to give away to a group member. Simply email MmIT journal editor email@example.com by 31 January stating why you’d like to attend. http://edgeconference.co.uk AND journal readers & Group member can also use our special discount code to book a place